Abandoned cars and houses an eyesore in Ama

… parish plans underway to clean up the mess

Ama residents want delapidated houses and abandoned junk cars cleared from the community.And legal action has been taken against at least five property owners in Ama so the parish can clean up the mess.

“When we receive a complaint that a house has been abandoned, we send our inspector out to the location to examine the property,” said Reese Kinler, spokesman for planning and zoning told the Herald-Guide.

Kinler said the inspector examines the property to determine if it should be torn down or if it can be salvaged by the owner.

“After the inspection process we send the property owner a certified letter advising them the property has to be improved or legal action will be taken.”

One of the decade-old complaints concerns junk cars piled up on 256 Beck Street in Ama.

According to a planning a zoning inspection report, Ethel Christophe, property owner, was cited with two violations for having more than 50 abandoned, junked, wrecked cars or derelict vehicles on her property and operating a junkyard business in a residential zoning district.

On June 12, Daniel Domengeaux, parish inspector ordered Christophe to remove all derelict vehicles from the property and discontinue all business activity.

“In order to have a vehicle removed, it must be improperly tagged, without a current registration, and must not have been driven in the past 60 days,” Domengeaux said.

“If a vehicle has been moved at least 10 inches in that time frame then vehicle owners usually plan on keeping it,” he continued.

“We can’t go on someone’s personal property and remove anything.”

Rock Gisclair parish assessor said his office has little to do with the property except when it comes to removing them from tax roll.

One of the broken down houses displays an election poster for Gisclair.

“The sign is from last election in 2003, I’m going to go take it down, I haven’t made my official announcement yet and I’m not sure how the sign got there or who put it there,” he said.

“Once the parish takes over an abandoned property, my job is to make sure the property owner is removed from the tax roll and it is then the parish’s responsibility.”

Ama resident Jara Roux said residents have complained about the blighted properties and are still waiting for results.

“There are three abandoned houses in a row coming from the grain elevator, another one is on a wooded lot with bloodweed as high as the roof; it is the first greenspace coming from the ADM grain elevator,” Roux said.

Roux said she was informed about another worn out structure in an email.

“The resident wrote me that an ‘abandoned house next to 119 Johnson St. needs to come down because it is full of rats,’” she said.

There are currenlty 26 complaints about property in Ama filed with planning and zoning.


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